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As a certified medical assistant with the pediatric center at OrthoCarolina, Thinh Tran spends his working days helping children recover from traumatic injuries. His job is to set casts and braces on damaged, broken bones so they can heal properly. But on the weekends, Tran can be found setting a different kind of cast—the kind that comes on the water, and ideally results in hauling in a brag-worthy fish.

Born in Vietnam, Tran started fishing when he was seven. Not because he came from a family of fishermen—he frequently went without them—but because he was bored during the long Carolina summer. His older brother would drop him and his neighborhood buddy off at local ponds and lakes, and that’s how they spent their days...

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